If you're like me you sometimes forget that Steven Pienaar exists. Surely I can be forgiven for that, because, since joining Tottenham Hotspur from Everton in January of 2011, he has appeared in only 11 matches for Spurs. Injuries have hampered Pienaar since his move, something that had never really been a problem in any of his other stops (With the exception of the 2009-10 season with Everton).
At the time of his purchase many, myself included, had no idea why he was brought in. At the time Aaron Lennon was in decent form and Giovani Dos Santos had not yet been loaned out. We seemed to be set on the right wing and a veteran player like Pienaar seemed like he would only gum up the works.
However, Pienaar looked good in most of his appearances for Tottenham Hotspur and was a big part of holding Milan goalless over two legs in the UEFA Champions League. With his ability to play both left and right wing, his pace, and his work rate Pienaar provided an excellent option for the club when it wanted to play a little bit more defensively without losing its ability to counterattack.
This season, Pienaar has yet to play a match due to injuries. We've been told several time that he is close to returning to full fitness, but he has yet to make the squad for any competitive match in any competition. In his absence Harry Redknapp has been more inclined to use Gareth Bale on the right, with Danny Rose deputizing on the left to play more defensively and Giovani Dos Santos or Iago Falque on the right in cup competitions.
Excluding the Queens Park Rangers game, Aaron Lennon has been unimpressive this season. Is Pienaar the best replacement for Lennon or, at almost 30 years old, is it time for Spurs to find a better option?